Is marijuana stronger than it used to be?
Over the last 20 years, the number of health problems and adverse effects related to marijuana use has grown, with some people putting it down to the idea that marijuana potency is stronger now than it was a few decades ago. But is marijuana stronger than it used to be?
It is true that the strength of marijuana, or the level of THC in cannabis one of the main ingredients that get you high is not always the same in every plant. It s the THC level that determines the marijuana potency. Sometimes it s stronger, sometimes weaker. There are a variety of things that might affect the strength of marijuana.
Potency can be affected by how marijuana is grown
People now cross breed different types of the plant and genetically modify it so it will have higher levels of THC, which means that the marijuana potency will be higher.
Marijuana potency depends on the part of the plant used
The buds of a female plant, which are the flowers at the top of the plant, have the most THC, followed by the leaves. The seeds and stalks don t usually have much THC. Using the stronger parts of the plant has become more popular than it used to be. In the 1970s, people used to mainly smoke the leaves, but nowadays the more potent buds or flowering tops of the plant are more popular.
How marijuana is prepared can also affect potency?
The oil from the plant hash oil has always been thought to have the most THC, but new techniques invented in Amsterdam using ice (frozen water) have meant stronger resin hashish has been extracted from some plants.
The marijuana potency is different depending on the way it s used
Whether it is used in a bong or joint, mixed with other drugs or used alone, affects the strength of marijuana.
While it is not certain whether cannabis is stronger now than it has been in the past, what is certain is that related health problems are on the rise. Heavy users of cannabis may suffer respiratory or mental illnesses in the long-term and paranoia and anxiety in the short-term. Also, the younger you start using cannabis and the more regularly you use it, the more likely you are to experience problems.
If you’d like some more info on how cannabis can affect you, check out our other Marijuana Facts, our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, or take part in one of our competitions(with some good cash prizes up for grabs). If you think you or a friend might have a problem with cannabis and need help, check out our Get Help page or call the helpline on 1800 30 40 50. You can also get some more in-depth answers to all your cannabis questions on our factsheets page.
*Please note that the terms marijuana , cannabis , weed and pot are used interchangeably in these fast facts, and all refer to the illegal drug, cannabis, unless otherwise specified.